PHILIP'S BLOG: Is life really short?
BY PHILIP PATSTON
Life is short, we hear, probably once a week. “While we are postponing, life speeds by,” Roman philosopher Seneca warns us.
Even Viggo Mortensen weighs in on it: "Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realise how important it is to use the time I have."
I disagree. I think life is bloody long! After 50 years I'm a bit pooped. Sometimes I groan at the thought of living another 30 or 40 years.
It's interesting that Mortenson talks about losing capacity, assuming that this limits one's ability to experience life. It's a very dysfunctionphobic attitude, believing that certain activities are needed to experience life. Living life fearing losing function must take its toll.
Even Seneca's warning against postponing things seems elicited by a form of fear – FOMO perhaps. And it buys into modern rhetoric that productivity is important over all else.
It also occurs to me that "life is short" is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we believe is what we perceive.
I'm quite ok believing life is long. It allows me to relax, give myself permission to do nothing, to notice the small stuff. I'm not scared of missing out. There's plenty of time.
Unless there isn't. But then, it'll be a bit late to care!
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